Children's lives improve when they spend time off screens and outdoors. Children are increasingly spending time indoors engaged with various forms of electronic devices: phones, computers, tablets, televisions, and gaming consoles. Parents and educators are often concerned that too much screen time is damaging to children. One study suggests that children can spend an average of seven hours per day in front of screens. While not all screen time is created equal, there are benefits to using media in educational settings, for example, there is no argument that children on the whole spend too much time engaged with electronic devices to be healthy.
What’s the solution? Get kids outdoors to improve their mental and physical health.
There is significant data indicating that time spent outdoors, whether in play, outdoor education or recreation, or even gardening, can have a real and positive impact on mental and physical well-being. Outdoor experiences included as adjuncts to classroom learning improve classroom performance. These types of experiences can also improve communication and social cues. Parks with green spaces and urban hiking areas promote creativity through play. Gardening teaches children about the food cycle and nutrition, provides important life skills, and creates opportunities for children to learn competence, resilience, and community building.